Value Chain in India’s Pulses sector
India’s food sector has seen a rampant rise in the agro processing industry . There have been local and international brands which market products having an USP. Food processing helps curb losses and price declines upon excess production and provides steady estimation of demand irrespective of direct consumption trends . Processing of pulses helps minimizing post-harvest commodity management losses, which compensate three per cent higher input cost. In the pulses sector, pulses were sold a few years back as a specific pulse commodity with none the less nonexistent add on and only for direct consumption. Even the quality of the pulse rarely made any differentiation in the price. However, growing consumerism for specific quality has led to branding of the pulses and at the same time the same is being carried out with value added products like besan. Food processing in the pulses is picking up with many food manufactures manufacturing pigeon pea or arhar or tur paste being supplied to the restaurant industry. Some of the popular pulse based agro processed products are dal paste , mung and urad papad , besan flour, chick pea flour for patties making in fast food recipes etc which are being outsourced by the restaurant industry on basis of specific quality. Rise in food processing of pulses and quality specific consumerism needs specific quality of pulse leading to branding of pulses. Branding thus becomes imperative to the cause of pulses. The entire pulses market is estimated at Rs 2 lakh crore annually in India, of which branded players consist of one or two per cent. The largest players recorded the highest turnover of Rs 350 crore, which means huge potential lies ahead for organised and branded players. It is also seen from consumer studies that the preference for branded products is highest across categories such as Besan, where the chances of getting an adulterated product is high and the consumers value the branded product for its purity and quality parameters.